Former Reds continue to weigh in on the season’s progress, mostly because most of them work with the media (as a manager) or for it (as a pundit). This time around we’ve got two different former Liverpool goalscorers and two different views on how the campaign is shaping up.
In one corner, Welsh manager John Toshack doesn’t sound like he’s going to be implementing a rotation policy at the Millenium Stadium anytime soon:
His constant choice of rotating his squad is really angering the fans, and within the club, I think there is a good deal of confusion right now.
It’s the case that if you change the team so regularly then the players simply don’t have time to gel together on the pitch.
Having spent a very significant amount of money on around 40 players in just over three years, I hope Rafa hasn’t bitten off more than he can chew.
Toshack certainly isn’t afraid to speak his mind. I’m almost suprised he didn’t slide in a “I won La Liga at Real Madrid by playing my best men all the time”.
Did you know Toshack had his coaching badge at the age of 18?
Fellow countryman and Anfield legend, the always classy Ian Rush, has a more level-headed view:
I’m a great believer in judging everything at the end of the season – not now – and that is still an awfully long way off. There are highs and lows ahead for plenty of teams, not just Liverpool.
There are also plenty of important Premier League points still to play for and the Reds will have big opportunities still to get back to the top and make that title challenge we all want to see.
In my experience, the main thing everyone at Anfield must do is just stick together as one.
In injury news, Dirk Kuyt strained a hamstring against Spurs and will be unfit to play in Holland’s weekend match (vs. Romania). Yet, it doesn’t seem too severe and may be able to play for the Dutch next Wednesday. Here’s hoping we get him back in one piece and he’s completely fit for the Derby.
After missing the last six matches with a metatarsal fracture, Xabi Alonso is hoping that he might be fit enough to play in the Merseyside Derby.
There is a chance but at this moment I don’t know. We’ll just have to wait and see. If I’m pain free next week then maybe I could be involved but it’s still too early to say.
Rafa has adopted a similiar wait-and-see stance:
Agger and Alonso are still not ready. We said six weeks for them to be out and it is getting close to that by the time the international break is over.
We will now have a two-week break for the internationals and we will see how they are after that. But even after that, it may not be quite the time. It could be another week or so before they can be considered after that.
In award news, Stevie G and El Nino have been shortlisted for FIFA’s World Footballer of the Year award. The top three will be named in December.
Speaking of shortlisted award winners… Kaka has spoken about coming to Liverpool!
I’m very happy at Milan and I don’t expect that situation to change. But if you want to talk hypothetically, if I were ever to leave it would have to be for a club of equal stature and I think I would only find that in England or Spain.
Manchester United are a wonderful side … I like Arsenal too. As for Chelsea and Liverpool, they are more tactically-oriented; they base themselves on solidity and organisation. They are maybe less creative, but they have good managers. I especially admire (Rafa) Benitez.
And there are rumblings about the January window, Crouch leaving and Alves (the Brazilian in the Netherlands) coming and Monaco’s Menez being tracked, but we’ll save those ghosts for a rainy day.